The Myth of Continuing Education

Establishing an expectation of continual learning establishes a culture of learning and provides real ROI to both the operations and the employee

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The Myth of Continuing Education

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There is a myth that regulating (forcing) continuing education contributes to the growth of the individual and their value as an employee. The fact is that education is only of value when it is absorbed — and that requires commitment on the part of the learner. Having to sit through a few hours a year of courses that may or may not be directly relevant or needed doesn’t necessarily do anything for anyone.  

We at Water Otter propose that there is a better way. Offering employees a core curriculum that allows them (note, we didn’t say “forces them”) to take courses that are relevant, timely, and of direct value to them or to your particular operations creates an environment where education becomes valuable, not just required. Further, establishing an expectation of continual learning — that is, regular participation — rather than just striving to meet minimum requirements, establishes a culture of learning and provides real ROI to both the operations and the employee.

We all understand the need for acquiring credits to be applied to license renewal, but we also believe those standards are too low and all too often miss the point of continuing education. Making all of our courses available at any time allows for taking courses as needed and when needed — establishing a continual education environment. With a program designed and used in this manner, the minimum credits will “fall out” of the learning experience, rather than being the end goal.

Of course, it's also important to supplement courses with other learning opportunities. For that reason, twice a week, we distribute supplementary content directly to our members. Most are a single page read that takes less than five minutes, but encourages the continual learning paradigm. Further, these notes are posted to our website (in the “resources” files) for operators to review at any time, making them available when needed (not just when offered).

Our goal is to help our member organizations (and individuals) change their focus from one of “acquiring enough credits,” to one of continual learning — thereby adding value to their operations and their personal career equity. We even provide an industry-unique rewards program to incentivize regular participation and assist managers in implementing the program in their operations.

If you want to know more, just go to and take a look. Our program currently serves thousands of members across the US, providing unlimited 24/7 access to over 70 hours of course content with more added each month.   

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